A lot of us spend a not-so-insignificant portion of our incomes on beauty care and maintenance. Haircuts, highlights, manicures, skincare products... at a certain point you almost don't even want to know the costs. It's why how to look good on a budget may be one of the most helpful money-saving tips out there — after limiting all the takeout food and morning coffees of course (or maybe that's just me).
According to an article on the financial site Cheat Sheet, the average woman spends $15,000 in her lifetime on makeup products alone, averaging $215 a year (and again, this is just on makeup — not including haircuts or skin care). The article projects that if that $215 a year was put into a standard retirement plan, it could yield many thousands of dollars by age 70. Basically, while it pains me to say it, there are a lot of super valuable things we could be spending or saving our money on that trump makeup.
I personally don't like to consider myself all that high-maintenance when it comes to my beauty routine, but that doesn't mean I'm not guilty of spending more than I should on beauty. I like my hair styled a certain way (bangs!), I love my skin to feel soft and clear, and I freaking love the feel of perfectly-manicured nails. And it adds up. If you're living on a budget or are looking for places to cut costs in your life without feeling like you have to live like a monk and sacrifice simple luxuries that make you feel good, here are seven hacks to spend less money on beauty care that could help in a big way.
1. At-Home Bang Trim
I love my bangs. I love the way they make my face look and I think they even make a basic ponytail look adorable. That being said, they're annoying as hell to maintain. You're forced to get them cut too short at the salon so that they'll be just the right length a week later, which is a stage that lasts about six days before they're then too long. You literally have to schedule a visit to the salon once a month if you want the keep them well-maintained... and even if your hair stylist cuts you a deal or doesn't charge for bang trims, you still have to tip. Learning to trim your own bangs yourself between cuts is a major time and cost-saver. This YouTube tutorial from Alle Connell at XoVain provides some great basic tips.
2. At-Home Facial
Beauty expert and YouTuber Brittany Vasseur has a great DIY facial that takes you step-by-step through a home spa routine, from the initial cleansing all the way to the relaxing face massage with healthy essential oils. It's great for a day when you've carved out some time to treat yourself, and it definitely won't cost you the exorbitant prices of your typical spa.
Learning how to shape and maintain your own eyebrows is a super helpful way to save you time and pocket-money. At least where I live, an eyebrow threading or wax with tip can cost as much as dinner and a movie, and I'd personally much rather do the movie! Take a look at this super helpful eyebrow shaping tutorial from YouTuber Kandee Johnson for a variety of shaping techniques.
4. DIY Manicures
This is probably my favorite and most-used DIY beauty tip, because as I said before, I freaking love manicured nails, but a weekly trip to the nail salon is just not financially justifiable in my current situation. This tutorial from YouTuber Lindsay, or LaFemme 5278 — offers some amazingly helpful DIY manicure tips for the more clumsily-inclined, like starting with your dominant hand and painting from pinky-to-thumb to avoid messing up the nails you've already completed.
5. DIY Blowout
This tutorial from professional hairstylist Sylvia Reis is awesome for learning the basics of a standard blowout that will last all day. Just make sure you have some of the necessary basic utensils, like heat-protectant spray, clips, and a round brush, and you'll be good to go.
6. Be Your Own Makeup Artist
I've been a bridesmaid in several weddings — and here's a little secret — it gets expensive! Usually, after paying for a bridesmaid dress and travel, the last thing I also want to put money down for is a professional makeup artist for the big day. If you're trying to cut costs, or just know you'll be in a ton of photos for a special event, you can definitely make your makeup look amazing without spending on a professional. This video from the YouTube channel HudaBeauty has a super helpful tutorial on common mistakes made when doing your makeup for pictures.
7. Dye Your Hair At Home
If you're not doing anything super complicated (i.e. going blonde) then you can actually achieve awesome results dying your hair at home, and it is vastly more cost-efficient than going to a salon. This tutorial from the YouTube channel Bebexo offers some super simple tips and tricks to make your home process totally seamless. You can also become your own color-expert with helpful tutorials from YouTube channels like oVertone.
Living on a budget doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself of beauty routines that make you feel good, nor does it mean you should have to break your wallet. Spending a little time mastering some beauty maintenance techniques will not only make you feel your best, but will save you a ton of money in the long run!
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